Agriculture

Agriculture

रे मन! कृषि! कर्मकाण्ड

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“मनरे तुमि कृषिकाज जान ना, –
एमन मानव जमिन रइलो पतित,
आवाद करले फलत सोना,”

– भक्त रामप्रसाद

“अर्थात, रे मन! तू कृषि करना नहीं जानता! ऐसी मानवदेहरूपी जमीन वैरान पड़ी है | अगर तुमने इसे आबाद किये होते तो सोना पैदा करती!”

“O’ mind! Don’t you know farming? This body has become barren due to your inability. Had it been used, it would have produced Gold (Hirany – हिरण्य )!”

Essentially, farming is a basic instinct. We all should know. Our mind is farmer of our body. When we forget this, body suffers. All Karma suffers. And life’s complexity increases manifold. 🙂

Don’t sit like a confused farmer. Train your mind to be a कृषिकार and grow हिरण्य (ओजस) from body.

Reason why we must follow local rituals. Reason why कर्मकांड exists. Reason why daily routine discipline is must for Grihasth.

Random acts at farm cannot produce Gold. साधना (SAdhna) is needed.

What is ideal food chain?

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Food Chain options

What is ideal food chain?

You grow and you eat. That is not possible for everyone.

So, what is next best alternative?

Being part of farming community. You don’t grow food but you live with farmers. So you get fresh authentic food.

If this is not possible to manage, we appoint one person to manage food for us. Village level vendor whose sole job is to collect food from farmers and cater it by charging nominal amount for his survival. ( Otherwise profit on food was the worse karma as prescribed in our culture. )

Where are we now?

We have processed and packaged food.
We have mobile app to order our food.
We have frozen meals.
We have restaurant at every 200 m.

Is this sign of progress? 🙂

I see this situation as result of utter ignorance about food and height of laziness.

With so many middle tiers between you and farmer, purity, authenticity and quality is impossible. And with each tier, there are chemicals added for preservation.

Our laziness is so high that we blindly trust food packet labels and marketing gimmicks as truth! 🙂

If you are really a health conscious, want to serve your billion+ body cells their right food and by that doing their seva, get rid of all modern layers.

Be a farmer.
Or befriend a farmer.
Or be the part of community where everyone co-operate and search right food for everyone. The non-profit co-operation.

And remember, food served by profit makers? Never trust! 🙂

Insects, pests and monoculture

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==================
Why insect pests love monocultures, and how plant diversity could change that
==================

For all Science-fanatic, world-hunger apologetic supporting chemical mono-culture farming.

And same mono-culture is forced on humans as there is wave of globalization going on killing native diversity. Once you start living synthetic global life-style, you are prone to insects and pests, ending life earlier than expected.

We are hitting own legs with axe!

insect pest


Research


Diversity as Natural Pesticide

The problem with monocultures

The problem with monocultures, Wetzel said, is if an insect likes the crop, that insect has a large food supply to draw from all in one place. Conversely, a field containing a variety of plants does not offer a large block of food for the insect, so it will not get the nutrients it needs to survive and thrive.

“A monoculture is like a buffet for plant-eating insects where every dish is delicious,” Wetzel said. “A variable crop is like a buffet where every other dish is nasty.”

https://www.ucdavis.edu/news/diversity-natural-pesticide/

Variability in plant nutrients reduces insect herbivore performance

Left to its own defenses, a farm field growing a variety of plants tends to attract fewer insect pests than a field growing just one type of crop. While scientists and farmers have noted that difference for years, the reasons behind it have been poorly understood.

A study led by the University of California, Davis, and published Oct. 12 in the journal Nature explains that much of the discrepancy may have to do with the nutritional needs of insects. Returning plant diversity to farmland could be a key step toward sustainable pest control.

“Insects have a perfect nutrient level that they really like,” said lead author William Wetzel, a doctoral student in Population Biology at UC Davis at the time of the study and currently an assistant professor at Michigan State University. “When it’s too high or too low, they do poorly.”

Abstract

The performance and population dynamics of insect herbivores depend on the nutritive and defensive traits of their host plants1. The literature on plant–herbivore interactions focuses on plant trait mean values234, but recent studies showing the importance of plant genetic diversity for herbivores suggest that plant trait variance may be equally important56. The consequences of plant trait variance for herbivore performance, however, have been largely overlooked. Here we report an extensive assessment of the effects of within-population plant trait variance on herbivore performance using 457 performance datasets from 53 species of insect herbivores. We show that variance in plant nutritive traits substantially reduces mean herbivore performance via non-linear averaging of performance relationships that were overwhelmingly concave down. By contrast, relationships between herbivore performance and plant defence levels were typically linear, with variance in plant defence not affecting herbivore performance via non-linear averaging. Our results demonstrate that plants contribute to the suppression of herbivore populations through variable nutrient levels, not just by having low average quality as is typically thought. We propose that this phenomenon could play a key role in the suppression of herbivore populations in natural systems, and that increased nutrient heterogeneity within agricultural crops could contribute to the sustainable control of insect pests in agroecosystems.

Agnihotra could clear the air in more ways than one

1
Using biochar to cut emissions of nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) would lower ozone and particulate matter levels in urban areas near farmland and save lives and money, according to Rice University researchers. Illustration by Ghasideh Pourhashem Original image: http://news.rice.edu/files/2017/07/0612_BIOCHAR-3-rn-24jmlns.jpg
Using biochar to cut emissions of nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) would lower ozone and particulate matter levels in urban areas near farmland and save lives and money, according to Rice University researchers. Illustration by Ghasideh Pourhashem
Original image: http://news.rice.edu/files/2017/07/0612_BIOCHAR-3-rn-24jmlns.jpg

Holy Agnihotra Ash. The missing gap is, holy ash. It is not just sacrificial fire that purifies air but also holy ash!!

We perform Holika Dahan.
We also play with the mud.
But we forgot the holy ash.

Don’t miss to apply ash of Holika dahan on forehead of each-other. Mud is an extension of holy ash.

विभूति(Holy Ash) is the key. Don’t miss.

—————-

‘प्रभाते बिमले जाते ह्यंगे भस्म च कारयेत्। सर्वागे च ललाटे च क्रीडितव्यं पिशाचवत्॥
सिन्दरै: कुंकुमैश्चैव धूलिभिर्धूसरो भवेत्। गीतं वाद्यं च नृत्यं च कृर्याद्रथ्योपसर्पणम् ॥
ब्राह्मणै: क्षत्रियैर्वैश्यै: शूद्रैश्चान्यैश्च जातिभि:। एकीभूय प्रकर्तव्या क्रीडा या फाल्गुने सदा। बालकै: वह गन्तव्यं फाल्गुन्यां च युधिष्ठिर ॥’

वर्षकृत्यदीपक (पृ0 301)

Clean India? Svacchch Bharat? Without stopping cow-slaughter?

Society that throws away cow dung and urine is disfigured.

यदस्याः पल्पूलनं शकृद्दासी समस्यति ।
ततोऽपरूपं जायते तस्मादव्येष्यदेनसः ।। अथर्व 12-4-9
Throwing away in to waste the Cow Dung and Cow
Urine disfigures the society.
गोबर गोमूत्र व्यर्थ करने से समाज के रूप की सुन्दरता नष्ट हो जाती
है ।

For Manu, dung ash has utmost importance in maintaining societal fabric.

These references from Manu Smriti signifies priceless value of Holy Ash of Gau maa’s Prasad.

तैजसानां मणीनां च सर्वस्याश्ममयस्य च ।
भस्मनाद्भिर्मृदा चैव शुद्धिरुक्ता मनीषिभिः । ।
The wise ordain that all (objects) made of metal, gems, and anything made of stone are to be cleansed with ashes, earth, and water. (Who needs washing powder? )
न मूत्रं पथि कुर्वीत न भस्मनि न गोव्रजे । ।
Do not spoil sacred ash. (It is like spoiling your daily medicines, supplements! Will you do it?)
वेणुवैदलभाण्डानां लवणानां तथैव च ।
मृण्मयानां च हरणे मृदो भस्मन एव च ।
Double the fine when someone steal holy Ash. ( More than gold!)

This shows importance of dung ash.Cycle of destruction started by occupying minds of locals. First, they made Manu and his teaching irrelevant by changing education system. Once Manu became irrelevant and controversial, गौ became just another animal on the street. Now, गौ has become irrelevant…

Can we clean Bharat Bhumi without Gau mata and Homa? I doubt.

Gau seva and Homa were primary duties of the Grihasthi. No more followed now. So we do not have Gau and ash both.

So what do we do after cleaning the public place?

DDT? Is it environment friendly? Is it healthy friendly? Google and find out. Is it really a cleaning?

Solution is in Manu’s code. Follow his instruction. Bring back Gau mata in your life again. Bring back Agni-Fire ritual back in the life.


Research


http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.7b00748

Valuing the air quality effects of biochar reductions on soil NO emissions

While it is clear that biochar can alter soil N2O emissions, data on NO impacts are scarce. Reports range from 0-67% soil NO emission reductions post-biochar amendment. We use regional air quality and health cost models to assess how these soil NO reductions could influence U.S. air quality and health costs. We find that at 67% soil NO reduction, widespread application of biochar to fertilized agricultural soils could reduce O3 by up to 2.4ppb and PM2.5 by up to 0.15µg/m3 in some regions. Modeled biochar-mediated health benefits are up to $4.3 million/county in 2011, with impacts focused in the Midwest and Southwest. These potential air quality and health co-benefits of biochar use highlight the need for an improved understanding of biochar’s impacts on soil NO emissions. The benefits reported here should be included with estimates of other biochar benefits, such as crop yield increase, soil water management, and N2O reductions.

Biochar could clear the air in more ways than one

“Our model projections show health care cost savings could be on the order of millions of dollars per year for some urban counties next to farmland,” Pourhashem said. “These results are now ready to be tested by measuring changes in air pollutants from specific agricultural regions.”

Pourhashem noted the key measurements needed are the rate of soil emission of nitric oxide (NO), which is a smog precursor, after biochar is applied to fields. Many studies have already shown that biochar reduces the emissions of a related compound, nitrous oxide, but few have measured NO.

“We know that biochar impacts the soil nitrogen cycle, and that’s how it reduces nitrous oxide,” said Masiello, a professor of Earth, environmental and planetary science. “It likely reduces NO in the same way. We think the local impact of biochar-driven NO reductions could be very important.”

Using the higher figure in their calculations, they determined that a 67 percent reduction in NO emissions in the United States could reduce annual health impacts of agricultural air pollution by up to $660 million. Savings through the reduction of airborne particulate matter — to which NO contributes — could be 10 times larger than those from ozone reduction, they wrote.

Pesticide vs Pest-aside : Real cause of pest/pathogens

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====================
Are bacteria responsible for our illness?

Are viruses responsible for our illness?

Are pest destroying crops?
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pesticide-danger-cancer

No. They are Mother nature’s most trusted messengers. They appears only when we create situations for them in our body or in our local environment by our activities.

Nature has different types of creatures, some with long life and some with very short life. Some with micro body and some with giant body combination of trillions and more micro bodies. Formation of them depends upon the specific combination of environmental factors.

So when you are afflicted by the specific bacteria or virus, try to find root change in the environment. And this physical changes are manifestation of more subtle प्राण. Which action, activity or habit caused it. Sometimes it is beyond our control. Sheer nature’s work. Like mass epidemic.

Insects

Insects 2

 

Same is true for growing food.

Understand this comment shared by Gyan Mitra ji on Jagannath Chatterjeeji’s post to realize it.

“This is the PEST niche graph, part of the I.I.T. Bombay PhD thesis 1996 of Dr. Uday S. Bhawalkar, a chemical engineer from the same institute 1973 batch. He is the first person to say that a PEST has an ecological role, and is a Policeman/woman, Inspector and Regulator too. The fire brigade visits only when there is a fire. The same logic applies for PESTS.This graph is rudimentary, and other graphs followed later, which will also be posted. Contrary to popular belief, these pests are not simply hanging around waiting to commit mayhem. They appear only when there is a need by multiplying, else remain very very few. For example, if a PEST appears in a field and starts chewing up the leaves, it simply means that there is nutrient in the leaves, in a related Carbon to Nitrogen ration relating to that particular pest. Industry gets rid of the PEST with poison / pesticide. But this does not address the root cause viz nutrient for the PEST. Eating such food is unsafe because the nutrient for the PEST is toxic for human consumption. Hence, can you see that PESTS also are quality control mechanism of Nature ? Forget pesticide, even if you were able to physically remove the PESTS by hand, its still no good. Therefore, even ‘organic pest control’ is not O.K. Cost effective Eco Technology if retrofitted into the well / bore well takes care of such toxicity and then the food crops grow without pests. Don’t forget that poor air quality causes acid rain which leaches heavy metals from rocks that gets into the crop. The trace heavy metals break down through a ‘ nature chemistry ‘ and invite PESTS. If you can understand what I have written, you will also be able to develop an argument against G.M. crops. I just saw a BBC film speaking for GM and the main goal is stated to produce food for expected 15 Billion people in the future. What is not discussed is that the food is toxic to human homeostasis. When pest free agriculture is possible even without the use of chemical fertilisers, to produce quality food ( one eats less ) which also has natural antidotes to remedy prevailing regional natural pollution, the modern goal of producing poor quality food in quantity without the antidote property is misplaced. Industrial farming is a model created with inputs and active management. There can never be a food shortage because Nature ensures that the food is made available for the life form first. You need to believe this. Also, borewells are bringing up more salts so much more water is needed for irrigation. And then, when the top soil ecology is pristine and appropriate crops are grown, only moisture is needed, NOT water.”

Air pollution and Agriculture : Increased carbon dioxide levels in air restrict plants ability to absorb nutrients

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co2_sky-small

You try all you can with soil improvement or better water management, if air is putrid, nothing will work.

Higher CO2 (or Higher O2 or higher NO) means disturbed Prana. Disturbed Prana means no ingestion, digestion, excretion. No excretion -> all sicknesses. So this is very critical for urban terrace farmers. They have worse air pollution to handle.

Agnihotra plays a vital role here. Doing homam in the vicinity of the land, with the use of Pure desi cow ghee, dung and other herbs produces balancing oxygen, NO and other gases. In short, it stabilizes Vayu and in turn Prana.

Planting more trees too will help. Peepal, Banyan and other fruit trees.

Cow dung microbial world also work hard for increasing Prana.

Presence of Desi Cow/Bull in the farm itself is sacred and self-saving.


Comment by Ranjit Kumar Dash

“Prana pervades all that we see on Earth; is impaired in neon-lit fume-soaked urban interruptions, which are but maiming mother nature. Terrace this, vermiculture that cannot make good what is getting damaged. Doom will eventually overtake all arty, smarty palliatives. Tatha na astu (May that never take place).”


Increased carbon dioxide levels in air restrict plants ability to absorb nutrients

http://science.gu.se/english/News/News_detail//increased-carbon-dioxide-levels-in-air-restrict-plants-ability-to-absorb-nutrients.cid1309352

The rapidly rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere affect plants’ absorption of nitrogen, which is the nutrient that restricts crop growth in most terrestrial ecosystems. Researchers at the University of Gothenburg have now revealed that the concentration of nitrogen in plants’ tissue is lower in air with high levels of carbon dioxide, regardless of whether or not the plants’ growth is stimulated. The study has been published in the journal Global Change Biology.

Researcher Johan Uddling has been working with Swedish and international colleagues to compile data on how raised levels of carbon dioxide impact on plant growth and nitrogen absorption.

Plant quality impaired by increased carbon dioxide levels

Embracing Weeds: Holistic Agriculture

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Weeds

Weeds have purpose. Amount of stress corn (or any crop for that matter) feels due to lack of supporting weeds is often transformed into viral and bacterial sickness.

“Weeds are weeds! No good! Pusley is weed and no good for crop! My textbook says so!”

“That’s what people think. Look at this. Look at this broken corn roots scattered among Pusley roots. You know what does that mean? Pusley roots are helping corn roots by breaking the dirt/soil so that corn roots can go deeper. Got it? Pusley is helping corn to better manage its nutrition and so good healthy crop.”

Weeds are good.

Based on my reading of book :”Weeds, guardians of the soil”.

Agnihotra Impact on Crops

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Some more connecting dots evidences about Homa/Agnihotra’s positive impact on crops.

As per paper 1 [1], Nitric oxide plays a central role in determining lateral root development in tomato.

As per paper 2 [2] Agnihotra promotes root length and overall rice seeds germination

Cow dung is full of Nitric Oxide metabolites. Ghee helps in diffuse NO in local environment.


Research

[1] http://www.cas.miamioh.edu/~meicenrd/pdevlmnt/stdpresents/tomato.pdf
 
[2] http://nopr.niscair.res.in/bitstream/123456789/9356/1/IJTK%203%283%29%20231-239.pdf

Agnihotra NitrixOxide

Banyan and Peepal : Farmer’s happy harvesting witnesses

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BanyanPeepal

These two trees are mentioned umpteen times in our scriptures, literature and local stories. We have found many ways by which they help us to sustain.

One farmer’s son gave me interesting perspective.

They are not only giving us shade in hot summer or fresh air 24x7x365 but they play vital role in farming too.

How?

बरगद और पीपलके वृक्ष जब अपने छोटे छोटे फलोंसे लद जाते है , तब यह हजारों चिड़ियोंके लिए पर्याप्त भोजन सामग्री होते है । विभिन्न प्रकारके पक्षी बहुत दिनों तक इन फलों को खाने में व्यस्त रहते थे इस तरह अप्रत्यक्ष रूप से ये फसलों और अन्य फलदार वृक्षों की पक्षिओं से रक्षा करते है ।

Can a urban kid develop such perspective in cement jungle?

Desertification follows Overfarming : California Case

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harvest-2

California is an epitome of Modern Agriculture practices. Farming started in the mid 19th century and by the early 21st century, doomed.Desert everywhere.

Desertification is defined as the deterioration of land in typically arid areas due to changes in climate and human activities. In the United States, desertification is typically caused by poor farming practices and the conversion of grazing areas to cropland.

In order to salvage lands affected by desertification, farmers begin to invest more in irrigation, which in turn diminishes groundwater resources and is the beginning of long-term impacts such as drought and famine. Additionally, as the topsoil becomes less nutrient rich from desertification plants become less productive and many of the ecosystem services they were providing are diminished.

Bharat is still alive after 40 years of mindless farming for two reasons:

1) Gau (Cow)
2) Traditions

Now both are diminishing rapdily. Are we expecting Sahara here? The California way!


Article Reference


Overfarming and overgrazing, two of the most common triggers of desertification (Google / USC)

https ://desertification.wordpress.com/2012/02/19/overfarming-and-overgrazing-two-of-the-most-common-triggers-of-desertification-google-usc/

California Desertification: How do we keep California the Golden Coast?

California has always been seen as the Golden Coast.  It is a land of plenty that supports millions of people and has an immense and productive agricultural industry, producing almost 15% of the nation’s annual crops.

But the productiveness of California has a limit, and both its climate and human overuse can distress the land beyond repair.  Desertification is the process of the loss of nutrients (top soil) to drylands, resulting in infertile land that can be easily eroded due to the lack of vegetation that would normally provide soils with the structural component to combat erosion.  Vegetation is vital to dry soils, prominent in much of the California climate, because the soils can easily be carried away by wind, or on the rare occasion of rain in Southern California, water.  Overfarming, which depletes the soils nutrients, or overgrazing, which physically strips the soil of vegetation, are two of the most common triggers of desertification.

Desertification can be a natural process too.  The United Nations Conference to Combat Desertification identifies that desertification is also due to climactic changes, where extended periods of drought or dryness can harm vegetation and leave soil dry and exposed to the elements, although some may argue that these may be anthropogenic as because of the link between global climate change and greenhouse gas emissions.

But while desertification can be a natural process, these natural processes and tendencies of Southern California are only augmented by the anthropogenic abuse of the land such as over farming and overgrazing.

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